Great Books - About

Great Books studies are an option for students who want to fulfill general education requirements (which all students must take) in a more traditional liberal arts format. Great Books scholars at Benedictine College study the foundational works of Western thought. The courses are open to all students, whatever major, allowing anyone who wants to encounter history’s great minds in a seminar environment the ability to enroll.

Because liberal arts is one of the four pillars of a Benedictine education, many courses at Benedictine College qualify as Great Books courses. Great Books studies will revolve around a Great Books sequence, entitled “Man and the World” follows over four years the historical development of human thought and imagination in history (The Ancient World, The Middle Ages, The Renaissance and The Moderns.)  

Great Books scholars will also be encouraged to participate in Benedictine College’s immensely successful “Faith and Reason” course, a three-semester sequence which systematically examines the great works in philosophy and theology.

Great Books scholars are encouraged to spend the Fall Semester of their Sophomore Year in Florence, Italy, where they will be introduced to the cultural riches of the West, including a 10-day course in Rome.

Beyond the Printed Page

To encourage camaraderie among Great Books scholars, Benedictine College will provide opportunities for the scholars to meet and further investigate literature and the arts, including visits to such places of cultural and intellectual interest as the Nelson-Atkins Museum and the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. On these visits, students will be accompanied by professors so that the classroom discussion environment can embrace not only great books, but also great works of music, art and theatre.

Eligibility Requirements

  1. Apply and be accepted for undergraduate admission at Benedictine College.
  2. Current Students: Contact your academic advisor director to join the program.
  3. Prospective Students: Sign-up for Great Books when you fill out your Freshman Course Registration.
  4. The Great Books directors will work with you to plan your curriculum.